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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dissension in Callahan Camp?

Back in February, I told you about John Callahan campaign manager Justin Schall. He's a DCCC journeyman who's worked campaigns in Iowa, San Jose, and New York, losing most of them. I believe he's really here not so much to help Callahan, but to keep an eye on him, very like the old line commissars.

Schall was involved in one winning campaign. In 2008, he helped Eric Massa get elected to Congress. But Massa was forced to resign after being accused of sexually harassing a junior male member of his own staff. He claimed it was just a tickle fight.

That kind of allegation has always swirled around Massa. In his first Congressional race, he accused his campaign manger (not Schall) of luring underage boys into a Corning apartment, plying them with alcohol and inviting one of them to spend the night. Massa later conceded those accusations were unfounded.

In Congress, Massa quickly developed a reputation for hiring lots of young gay guys, but paying them so little that they'd all have to live with him in his Capitol Hill row home. The picture you see is the inside of that row home, shortly after Massa resigned. They must have had lots of tickle fights.

Guess what? Turns out that most of the commissars who worked Massa's race are now working for John Callahan. I received this email yesterday from callahan.info@gmail.com.

"This is an anonymous tip on the Callahan campaign.

"Remember disgraced Congressman Eric Massa? Not only did Callahan hire Eric Massa's campaign manager, but he also hired three of Eric Massa's congressional staffers to work full time on his campaign.

"Jared Smith
Facebook profile
Legistorm infoFacebook photo (inside Callahan campaign office)The "fracking" incident reportedly took place at the wedding party of Massa spokesman Jared Smith.

"Erik BraunFacebook profile (must be within network)
Legistorm infoFacebook photo

"Nicole Hushla
Facebook profile
Legistorm info
Massa's Flickr Facebook photo (with Steve Taylor from Massa's office)

"The first two should be on Callahan's latest FEC disclosure report. The last one should be on Callahan's next FEC disclosure report. You can also call their office (610) 625-3880 and ask for those people. Also, the identity of Callahan's tracker:Christine Smithwww.facebook.com/christine.mary.smith (must be within network)"

Who sent it? The Dent camp? Unlikely. If they wanted to send me something like this, they'd just send it. Also, the links in this email include a photograph taken from inside Callahan's campaign office. That email includes information about people that the Dent camp couldn't possibly know until Callahan's next campaign finance report is filed.

A few weeks ago, Callahan's camp suddenly fired his finance director, Leora Rothenberg, for undisclosed "personnel" reasons. That, combined with this email, makes me wonder whether there is some kind of friction. You'll notice this is no attempt to throw mud at Callahan. Just his staff.


Anonymous said...

He was never a serious candidate. Although most thought he was a marked improvement on Sam Bennett, he's performed worse.

Given Tuesday's results, Dent should worry more about Jake Towne and voters who don't like Dent's bailout vote.

Anonymous said...

Attacking kids who did nothing wrong? Wow, just when I thought you couldn't get any lower, you do.

I am also sure Leora did not do this. Check closer to home---a former blogger who volunteered for Callahan.

Anonymous said...

This is shocking. It just keeps getting worse. First Mann, now this! Out with them all.

Anonymous said...

Bernie ---I don't get what the story is here. So he hired a couple kids who worked on some other congressman's campaign.

It makes for a funny story, and hell, anytime you can link Callahan to the NY tickler (too bad he isn't a frenchman), I see the humor and how it helps Dent.

But I really don't see what the story is.....unless maybe it's that they haven't showed up on his campaign finance filings yet.

I think we'd all love to know why Leora Rothberg is gone. That would be a story.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The point here is that there must be some kind of dissension in the Callahan camp. An anon claims it is "a former blogger." We all know those botom-feedes can't be trusted.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"just when I thought you couldn't get any lower, you do"

Why thank you. Believe me, I could get a lot lower than this.

Anonymous said...

Nothing wrong in Camp Callahan. This is the work of a disgruntled volunteer that did not get a paid staff position.

Anonymous said...

Your a sad man picking on young staffers and delving into thier personal lives just for a blog entry. The only dissent is what your trying to create....won't work Bernie....try again...

Bernie O'Hare said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't gisgruntled volunteers and fired finance directors signs of discontent? Think about that during your next tickle fight.

One other question. Did Shawn Millan prepare Callahan for that debate?

Anonymous said...

The volunteer was disgruntled because he was not chosen to get a paid staff position. He is upset that these DC guys did and he, as a local guy, did not.
How can you legitimately say that shows discontent?
There are only so many positions available, not all can be paid staff.

Campaigns often change staff positions as the campaign transitions. Again, not discontent. Some people are better at one part of the campaign than others.

Anonymous said...

your trying to use logic against someone with a clear agenda...it doesn't work..

Heaven forbid a manager hires people with whom they are familiar with thier skills. We wouldn't want to hire the right person for the right job....scandalous

Anonymous said...

So you just admitted the Dent campaign sends you info when they want. Well that's been clear for months that their oppo people are feeding you the BS.

This is just awful though.

Anonymous said...

"He is upset that these DC guys did and he, as a local guy, did not."

Wait, you mean that Callahan is being completely run by DC people and that local people are actually booted from the campaign? Thanks for at least finally admitting that DC is completely calling his shots.

Anonymous said...

"Heaven forbid a manager hires people with whom they are familiar with thier skills."

Interesting...what would the "skills" be that are necessary for both eric massa and john callahan which would warrant booting a local person? Would it have been better for the 'local guy' to include a statement about 'being able to cover up the actions of candidate' on his resume?

Anonymous said...

When is the Rapture happening so Dent can take us all up to heaven with him?

Anonymous said...

If you ever worked on a political campaign, the hours, the stress, the fact that you can work hard and it won't matter because it simply isn't your party's year or your candidate said something dumb when a camera was rolling etc. are breeding grounds for people to fight with each other. Do us a favor Bernie, re-watch the war room.

The fact people sometimes don't get a long on a political campaign is like finding out some people are going to a hotel to have sex after the prom.

Anonymous said...

Its a new type of hiring freeze for Callahan in Bethlehem...no locals need apply.

Anonymous said...

Callahan probably did not make the decision, his campaign manager most likely did. I am sure his manager chose people he knew because he wanted people he worked well with.

Obviously he made the right choice, since the local is feeding information bloggers...

Anonymous said...

"Callahan probably did not make the decision, his campaign manager most likely did"

So now you are saying that Callahan has no hand in the people he is hiring? Clearly no accountability. Why would we want this guy in Congress if he cant even control his staff?

Anonymous said...

"Obviously he made the right choice, since the local is feeding information bloggers..."

Yeah, those darn locals, always getting in the way of a DC run campaign.

Anonymous said...

Pssst, Julia.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"So you just admitted the Dent campaign sends you info when they want."

Yes, they send me news releases as do many elected officials and candidates. That's how you get your message out.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Just one question. Is Shawn Millan going to help Callahan get ready for the next debate, too?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bernie O'Hare said...

I'm sorry, but you're going to have to ID yourself before making that kind of a claim about Callahan. I'd also want some substantiation.